Churrigueresque Retablo

Churrigueresque Retablo at SantaMaría LaMayor, Morella, Spain

(Wikipedia Source Churrigueresque) Churrigueresque refers to a Spanish Baroque style of elaborate sculptural architectural ornament which emerged as a manner of stucco decoration in Spain in the late 17th century and was used up to about 1750, marked by extreme, expressive and florid decorative detailing, normally found above the entrance on the main facade of a building.


Named after the architect and sculptor, José Benito de Churriguera, who was born in Madrid of a Catalan family (originally named Xoriguera), and who worked primarily in Madrid and Salamanca, the origins of the style are said to go back to an architect and sculptor named Alonso Cano, who designed the facade of the cathedral at Granada, in 1667.

A distant precursor (early 15th century) of the overwrought style can be found in the Lombard Charterhouse of Pavia; yet the sculpture-encrusted facade still has the Italianate appeal to rational narrative. The Churrigueresque style appeals to the proliferative geometry, and has a more likely ancestry in the Moorish architecture or Mudéjar architecture that still remained through south and central Spain. The interior stucco roofs of, for example the Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos in Granada, Spain, flourish with detail and ornamentation.



(Wikipedia Source Retablo) Retablo (or lamina) is a term for a Latin American devotional painting, especially a small popular or folk art one using iconography derived from traditional Catholic church art. This is a different meaning from the original one in Spanish, which still applies in Spain, and is equivalent to reredos in English or retable in French: a painting, sculpture or combination of the two, rising behind the altar of a church. The Latin etymology of this Spanishword means “board behind”[1].


Spanish retablos of the Late Middle Ages and Renaissance grew extremely large and elaborate, typically using carved and gilded wood, and rising as high as 40 feet or more. The tradition of making them was taken to the new Spanish Empire in America. There, by the late 18th century at least, the word became used for much smaller popular religious paintings, both conventional devotional images and ex-votos (paintings giving thanks for protection through a specific episode).

You can follow VCrown work at: FlickrTwitterFacebookVimeo

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *